United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation is developing a new system for preparing and launching intercontinental ballistic rockets, that are removed from combat duty, to be used for civilian purposes, i.e. for launching space modules and satellites to the orbit.

“The project is implemented by our research and production enterprise called Impulse under the contract with MKK Cosmotrans in the framework of the conversion program Dnieper,” told Deputy Director General of United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation Sergei Skokov. “The program has been active for many years. The first generation of our system was used for launching heavy rockets RS-20B (SS-18 Satan according to NATO classification), that were put into service as early as in 1970s, have become outdated and should be liquidated. At present, we are developing a new generation of the system, which is unified and can be used for launching other types of the rockets being removed from the service besides RS-20B.”


The conversion program allows killing two birds with one stone: liquidation of outdated arms and space exploration. Such a solution is not only efficient for disposing of rockets, but it is also profitable, since the cost of taking cargoes to space is much lower than with the help of conventional carrier rockets. The preparation and launch system has been used over 20 times for sending goods to the orbit.

Since 2009, Impulse has been working on adapting the launching system for the new requirements and launching rockets of the new generation. Just like the previous generation of that equipment, the new system consists of two parts located at the command center and at the launching site. It makes a remote check-up from the command center and gives the order for launching.

The new hardware of the launching site has been tested, and the project is to be complete by 2017. 


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